RNDr. Alena Švandová

* 1950  

  • "In 1989 I was, I experienced it in Kralupy nad Vltavou and in 1989 I knew I had to leave the grammar school. Because the grammar school there was very politically oriented in the service of the regime and it manifested itself in such a way that, as a class, we had to submit a number of students attending higher education institutions to a military college every year. And whoever didn't have them got no reward. So, the duty of the class was to persuade the students in the third, fourth grade, to direct them there to choose a military college, because then they would be in a better position, they would have more money, especially the military doctors were good at that time. Well, there were meetings and we really had to present who has how many college students at military colleges. And it also happened that I didn't have anyone, so I didn't get a reward again. So I thought I wouldn't be like that, no, so I had to leave. And that year 1989 freed me from it, so God forbid."

  • "My great desire was to be a guide in Hálek's house in Dolínek. Hálek's house almost crashed down because the local Communist Party claimed that it was blocking traffic, that the meander was too confusing there, and that the house would be demolished and a sign would be placed there - the Czech poet Vítězslav Hálek was born here. And my dad was a wonderfully progressive man who said no, he was a member of the local national committee at the time, which was the village's main administration, and I helped a lot. I say, 'Dad, no, it can't be broken down, and you know what we're going to do, we're moving the library from the old National Committee in Dolínek.´ And the argument worked, the house was repaired then and the library was moved in there.“

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    Odolena Voda, 04.11.2021

    duration: 56:42
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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You didn’t have to learn well, when you just had parents in the Communist Party

Alena Švandová as a high school graduate
Alena Švandová as a high school graduate
photo: Archiv pamětnice

Alena Švandová, née Kroupová, was born on August 14, 1950 in Dolínek near Odolena Voda. She graduated from primary school in Odolena Voda, and in 1963 she was chosen to represent the school during a New Year’s visit to the Prague Castle with President Antonín Novotný. Already in elementary school, she wanted to become a teacher. She enjoyed dancing, hiking, and attended a reading and music group. At the time of the Prague Spring, she was in the graduation year of the general secondary school in Prague-Libeň. Together with her classmates, she took part in a student celebration of Majáles, which had been banned in previous years, and went on a school trip to Western European countries. In January 1969, they had a prom in the Lucerna palace, which was marked by the tragic death of Jan Palach. In 1972, together with her father, she opened a library in Vítězslav Hálek’s birthplace in Dolínek, where she also conducted and led a reading group for children and adults. She graduated from university with a degree in teaching, history and geography. She started at a primary school in Odolena Voda, later she taught at a grammar school in Kralupy nad Vltavou and in Prague on Korunní Street. She struggled with colleagues who were telling on her for her way of learning and because she explained things to children at the time, such as the Advent events. Thanks to an inspection from the Ministry of Education, she met teachers from Switzerland, who invited her to an internship in Bern after the revolution. Along the way, she was lucky to fly with Emil Zátopek. After the revolution, she also taught briefly at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University. In 2021 she lived in Odolena Voda.